What happened to the homepage?

With all the attention spent on conversions, micro sites, landing pages and retargeting, have we neglected our home pages?

Think about it.

Have you really looked at the analytics behind the user interaction with your homepage? Do you have more than 10 links? If so, what if one of those links receives only 2% of the click through traffic? Is it still worth including it on the page?

These questions and more might (and should) be on your radar. In fact, do we even need these relics of the web one-point-oh? How do we understand what should go into designing and possibly reinventing these cornerstones of our websites? And, is it possible to use customer data, market research, web analytics and thoughtful design to turn a clunky, overlooked page into a useful tool for our customers that adds value to our marketing strategy?

I believe that we haven’t paid enough attention to designing intelligent home pages. But, I also believe the keys to deciphering the ingredients that are needed to make great pages (great depends on what matters most to your organization) are well within your reach.

This April, I’ll be presenting on what I feel is a methodology for creating a great home page experience at Innovation Enterprise’s Social Media and Web Analytics Innovation Summit. After the summit, I’ll share my findings and postulations on my site here. Stay tuned!

50 shades of “it doesn’t really matter”

I just read a brief post by author and marketer, Seth Godin that reminded me of a decision I made in the office last week. He references multiple choice tests… and while my job is very far from multiple choice tests, sometimes I find myself belaboring over diminishing returns, the lesser of two evils, or multiple positive outcome-related multi-variate decisions. For example, we’re running a program whereby we are sending new students a logo polo shirt. This is a really cool item and this program is not run by most other schools. I won’t go into the why or how of the program, but I will say I was asked to choose between a few different grey colors as the option for the shirt (and an even more heinous light blue one). After looking at them all, and disliking them all, I realized it didn’t matter so much as to what shade of grey, but rather, that we were sending a decent shirt out at all. I wouldn’t have enough data in the test set to determine if one shade would be better than another if I wanted to further segment the testing.

I just needed to pick one and move on to more important decisions.

You have to remind yourself, and your staff, that some decisions should not require too much time. Focus on what matters. The 50 shades of your decisions probably won’t matter most of the time.

Big Data Summit – Miami

It’s a busy month for me this November. Last week I had the delight of keynoting a summit on higher education at Google’s Mountain View headquarters. This week, my travels bring me to sunny (I hope) Miami, Florida. I’ll be presenting at IE Group’s Big Data Summit. IE Group puts on a series of outstanding events and this is my second time participating as a speaker.

My topic will focus on leveraging Google Analytics to answer some extremely important questions about how us marketers are performing in areas traditionally difficult to REALLY measure, such as social media, SEO and email marketing.

I hope to see you there!

Pinterest adds analytics to its suite

I’m overjoyed to learn that Pinterest has added analytics to its business toolset. So, if you are business you can verify your Pinterest account and then be on your way to awesome analytics. Here’s a breakdown on what you get from ClickZ: http://www.clickz.com/clickz/news/2254306/pinterest-adds-analytics-for-verified-websites

Pinterest created a short video overview:

Pinterest Analytics Overview

You get data on pins, repins, impressions, and clicks!

If you pair this data up with conversion tracking with Google Analytics, you can really gain some great insight.

Now start pinning!

Pinterest Web Analytics Walkthrough from Pinterest on Vimeo.

Baltimore – Social Media Analytics Presentation

If you missed my presentation on social media analytics in Georgetown last week, fret none my fine analytic colleagues… I will be appearing at the System Alliance Digital 360 conference in Baltimore on Tuesday, March 4. My first session at 11:10 AM is titled, “Making Smarter Social Media Decisions Using Analytics” and I’ll be covering some simple reports that have powerful data on measuring your social media campaigns using Google Analytics and Facebook Insights. Later that afternoon, I’ll be participating in a panel on “Best Practices for Managing Web Content”.